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Classical Hatha Yoga

Item Code: NAH702
Author: Swami Rajarshi Muni
Publisher: Life Mission Publications
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788188243563
Pages: 1101 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 11.0 inch X 8.5 inch
Weight 2 kg
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Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description

The annals of world spiritual literature will long remain embellished by this truly unique and extraordinary book. Meticulously and methodically written during 1978-81, when the Author was pursuing secluded yoga sadhana, it speaks volumes for his stature and authority that he was in a position to traverse the territory covered in this work within barely a decade of his receiving yoga initiation. One such as this comes but once in ages, for this book attests to the fact that the author had clearly crossed yogic frontiers that it takes many lifetimes of arduous spiritual practice to attain. The roster of such yogis is small.

This is the work of one who knew kundalini in just the third sitting and had reached the domain of the khechari mudra in just the third month of his sadhana. For one who knows the khechari mudra there is not much left to be known of time past, present or future. So it should not come as a surprise that this book has so much that is both so rare and so vastly illuminating. It goes farther than any yoga text has gone since centuries and delineates the full vast canvas of this secret spiritual science with a familiarity born of experience-based personal knowledge. Time alone will help comprehend the awesome import of this document that after passage of much time the world is once again gifted with a perfected yogi.

Swami Rajarshi Muni was born on 11th February 1931 in Porbandar in western Gujarat in the lineage of the Jadeja rulers of the former Princely State of Kutch. He received sannyas initiation on 19th February 1971 when he thus permanently renounced the world for the exclusive pursuit of yoga sadhana. His daily practice spanned at least eight to ten hours. He also read and wrote extensively. The fourteen hundred page manuscript underlying this extraordinary book was penned during 1978-81. In 1993, in response to a spiritual calling, he temporarily gave up his self-imposed seclusion to undertake a worldwide campaign to spread the knowledge of yoga and the moral and cultural values of the sanatan Indian heritage. He founded the Lakulish International Fellowship's Enlightenment Mission and has been fully engaged since 1995 in the furtherance of its aims and Objects in addition to his sadhana. He will shortly resume secluded sadhana to complete his yoga and establish the authenticity of the principle of the indestructible Divine Body, expounded and practiced in the spiritual tradition in which he is the present spiritual head. He is an advanced yogi, a realized Master in the classic maid of Indian adepts, knower of the kundalini and master of the khechari mudra. The attainments of his spiritual practice, of which this book is irrefutable evidence, establish him firmly as the latest addition to the lineage of siddhas (adepts) which has long embellished the Indian spiritual tradition. He is presently engaged in converting the body into the exquisite Divine Body, the final goal of all yoga sadhana and the ultimate spiritual attainment.


I am happy to know that a book titled "Classical Hatha Yoga" has been written by Swami Rajarshi Muni, an eminent spiritual personality and a distinguished scholar in Yoga.

Yoga is the most valuable and precious offering of the Indian civilization to the world. It represents the finest elements of India's unique and priceless spiritual and philosophical heritage. As a science of life and an art of living, Yoga goes into the deepest profundities of existence and helps realise the true purpose of human life by exploring the world within one's own self. The quintessence of Yoga is its timelessness and its ever contemporary relevance to secure a healthier and happier human society. If today Yoga is alive and mankind is rediscovering its virtues, it is due to the sustained interest of scholars in Yoga and the practice of our Yogacharyas. The inherent strengths of Yoga need to be recognised across the globe. This book, I hope, will present to the world the true Yoga of India in the ancient tradition. The textual and the pictorial presentation of this book will, no doubt, provide an authentic source of information on varied aspects of Yoga to its followers and practitioners.


The human being consists of the body, the mind and the soul. He brings within his purview physical development, psychological unfoldment and spiritual realization. Generally the body is treated as a material reality, while the mind is considered as a non-material reality. Indian Vedic Philosophy conceives of the soul as the subtle and ultimate reality. The system of yoga has been brought into existence by the ancient sages of India in order to ensure proper functioning of the triple constituents of the human being, that is, body, mind and soul. The principal objective of Yoga is to make the individual understand and experience that the mind and the body are destructible entities whereas he himself is in reality the Soul, which is eternal and independent from the mind and the body.

The main constituents of yoga are Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga and Raja Yoga. Of these Hatha Yoga deals with the purification of the body, Laya Yoga deals with controlling thought and emotions, and Raja Yoga brings about the realization of the soul. All these three Yogas are not isolated from one another. Each one remains incomplete in the absence of the other two. However, it is true that in the initial stage of the spiritual practice, Hatha Yoga plays an important role, while in the intermediate stage Laya Yoga plays an important role. In the final stage, Raja Yoga plays an important role and that is why it is designated as the King of Yoga. In short, a yoga practitioner has to begin with Hatha Yoga and then, passing through the stage of Laya Yoga, he has to reach the stage of Raja Yoga. Keeping this in view, the author of Hatha Yoga Pradeepika has rightly said, "All the methods of Hatha Yoga are meant for gaining success in Raja Yoga." (4:102) He says further, "There is no success in Raja Yoga without Hatha Yoga and hence on e should practice both till complete success is gained." (2:76). Asan (posture) being the first accessory of Hatha Yoga, a yoga aspirant should begin with the practice of asans. That bestows health, lightness, suppleness and steadiness of the body. After being firmly established in asan, he should practice Pranayams (breath control) while also exercising moderation diet. That removes impurities from the channels of the gross as well as the subtle body. When these channels are purified the practitioner becomes lean, but free from disease. He masters celibacy, retains breath according to wish and listens to the subtle sound (anahat naad, unstruck sound) from within. This stage is the culmination of Hatha Yoga. After that the practice of Laya Yoga begins wherein the objects of the senses are forgotten and desires do not arise. In Hath Yoga Pradeepika it is said: "Mind is the master of the senses, Prana (vital air or breath) is the master of Mind and Laya is the master of Prana. That Laya is dependent on the Subtle Sound (naad)."

While listening to the inner Subtle Sound the mind becomes fully absorbed and the breathing is successfully stopped without involving inhalation or exhalation (that is known as keval kumbhak). At that time the practitioner reaches the culmination of Laya Yoga and enters the stage of Raja Yoga. A yogi engaged in Raja Yoga samadhi becomes free from all bondages and transcends all states such as waking, dreaming and sleeping. He becomes a liberated soul.

Some people wrongly translate the word 'Hatha Yoga' as 'a harsh method of self-discipline including the infliction of various tortures 0 one's body.' They advocate self-mortification through scourges. But this is not true. As a matter of fact, Hatha Yoga is a carefully designed discipline for physical culture which makes an aspirant's body a fit equipment for achieving spiritual prowess. For cleaning the body of its impurities the Hath Yoga discipline employs, apart from asan and Pranayam, other methods such as bandhs, (Locks), shat kriyas (six cleansing processes) and mudras (seals). It also leads to an occult phenomenon of kundalini awakening. This is a mystical experience establishing the aspirant's contact with the subtle. Thus it is only with the help of Hatha Yoga that the aspirant reaches the subtle body and the door to the higher yoga or Laya Yoga is opened.

After the kundalini is aroused, she moves upwards through the passage of the Sushumna Nadi (a central and important channel in the subtle body) and during its course passes through various chakras (psychic centers) and develops them, yielding higher mystical experiences and unalloyed spiritual bliss. These are the essentials of the Hatha Yoga discipline. This shows that Hatha Yoga is a very important discipline which must be followed by anyone who aspires to attain transcendental experience. Properly speaking, Hatha Yoga is a system of physical exercises for the cultivation of perfect health and the higher modes of experience. It is timeless and practical wisdom coming down to the people through the millenniums. India indeed is its homeland.

This book bears the title I Classical Hatha Yoga'. It describes the theoretical aspects of Haiha Yoga and also enumerates various important practices along with the correct techniques for doing them. The text contains the benefits derived from these practices and also their therapeutic as well as subtle spiritual effects. The book carries nearly eight hundred illustrations (color photographs) adding to the value of the treatise. I hope this work will be of immense importance to students as well as teachers of Yoga since it can ideally serve as a comprehensive manual of instructions.

May the almighty shower His blessings on those who engage themselves in learning and performing yoga.

My profound thanks and blessings go to the following persons:

N.B. Amin for prompting me to write such an exhaustive treatise and for arranging to take the color photographs during 1978-79 A.D. when color photography was yet a rarity in India.

A.H. Amin, for arranging and establishing a temporary studio in one of his vacant bungalows for carrying out the task of photography which lasted over a period of several months.

A.T. Jhala, for getting the enormous hand- written manuscript typed initially. S. Trinity, (U.5.A.), for taking the typed manuscript on computer and carefully editing the voluminous text and presenting it in a better format.

Kr. Fateh Singh Jasol and his wife Smt. Sit a Jasol for the final checking of the manuscript, meticulous proof reading, preparing the index and glossary and rendering the work ready for publication.


Foreword vii
Preface ix
Publisher's Note xi
Chapter One 3-6
Ashtang Yoga  
(1) The Birth of Classical Yoga  
(2) The Stages of Ashtang Yoga  
(3) The Goal of Asan  
(4) Pranayam and Pratyahar  
Chapter Two 7-12
Asan, the Posture of Yoga  
(1) Asans: Cultural and Meditative  
(2) Asan in the Modern World  
(3) The Subtle Process of Asan  
(4) Asan and Health  
(5) The Practice of Asan  
(6) Precautions  
(7) Technique  
(8) Guidelines for the Practice of Asan  
Chapter Three 13-33
Shatkriya, the Six Cleansing Processes  
(1) The Foundation of Yoga Practice  
(2) Neti, Cleansing the Nasal Passages  
(3) Dhauti, Cleansing the Alimentary Canal  
(4) The Bahya (External) Dhautis  
(5) The Antar (Internal) Dhautis  
(6) Basti, Cleansing the Colon  
(1) Nauli Kriya  
(2) Kapalbhaii, Cleansing the Cavities in the Skull  
(3) Tratak: Steady Gazing  
Chapter Four 35-40
Bandhs, Controlling the Life Force  
(1) The Importance of the Bandhs  
(2) Mool bandh: the Basal Lock  
(3) Uddiyan Bandh: the Stomach Lock  
(4) [aalandhar- Bandh: the Throat Lock  
(5) Tribandh: the Triple Lock  
Chapter Five 41-52
Pranayam, the Precept of Breath Control  
(1) Breath and Life  
(2) Method of Breathing in Yoga  
(3) Prana, the Vital Life Force  
(4) Prana and Vayu  
(5) The Twelve Major Nadis  
(6) The Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis  
(7) Swar Yoga  
(8) The Chakras  
(9) Purification of the Chakras  
(10) The Kundalini  
Chapter Six 53-59
Pranayam, Practice and Techniques  
(1) Preparations for Practice  
(2) Prerequisites for the Practitioner  
(3) The Sahit Kumbhak Pranayams  
(4) Anuiom- Vilom Pranayam  
(5) Surya Bhedan Pranayam  
(6) Ujjayi Pranayam  
(7) Shitali Pranayam  
(8) Shitkari Pranayam  
(9) Bhastrika Pranayam  
(10) PIavini Pranayam  
(11) Bhramari Pranayam  
(12) Murchha Pranayam  
(13) The Final Stage: Keval Kumbhak  
Chapter Seven 61-72
Nadi Shuddhi Through Pranayam  
(1) Nadi shuddhi and Bodily Health  
(2) Nadi shuddhi and Prana Control  
(3) The Role of Anulom- Vilom Pranayam  
(4) Purifying the Physical Channels  
(5) The Effects of Physical Purification  
(6) Purification of the Astral Channels  
(7) The Effects of Nadi shuddhi  
(8) Opening the Entrance To the Sushumna  
(9) The AUM Mantra  
(10) Purification of the Sushumna  
(11) The Effects of Sagarbh Pranayam  
(12) Preparations for Keval Kumbhak  
(13) Indications of Complete Nadi shuddhi  
Chapter Eight 73-78
Kundalini: The Divine Serpentine Energy  
(1) The Coiled Serpent  
(2) The Mysterious Kundalini  
(3) Mystical Union With the Lord  
(4) Kundalini and the Fall of Man  
(5) The Divine Energy of Creation  
(6) The Secret of Brahmacharya  
(7) The Chakras and the Divine Union  
(8) Kundalini and the Guru's Grace  
Chapter Nine 79-82
Introduction To Mudra  
(1) The Nature of Mudra  
(2) The Two-Fold Task of Mudra  
(3) The Important Mudras  
Chapter Ten 83-89
Maha Mudras and Bandh Mudras  
(1) The First Triad of Mudras  
(2) The Second Triad of Mudras  
Chapter Eleven 91-103
Khechari and Related Mudras  
(1) The Nature of Khechari Mudra  
(2) The True Technique of Khechari Mudra  
(3) The Mystery of the Tongue-Lock  
(4) The Tenth Door  
(5) A Word of Caution  
(6) Achieving Khechari Mudra  
(7) Nabho (Sky) Mudra  
(8) Shambhavi, the Mudra of Lord Shiva  
(9) Kaki Mudra (Crow Mudra)  
(10) Yoni Mudra: the Mudra of Spiritual Union  
(11) Manduki Mudra (Frog Mudra)  
(12) Bhujangini Mudra (Serpent Mudra)  
Chapter Twelve 105-116
Shaktichalani and Related Mudras  
(1) The Door To Liberation  
(2) Ashvini (Perineum) Mudra  
(3) Shaktichalani (Kundalini) Mudra  
(4) Vajroli Mudra  
(5) Sahajoli (Natural) Mudra  
(6) Amaroli (Ambrosia) Mudra  
(7) Tadagi (Tank) Mudra  
(8) Pashini Mudra  
(9) Viparit-karani (Inversion) Mudra  
(10) Mudra and Pratyahar  
Chapter Thirteen 117-123
Self-Control Through Pratyahar  
(1) The Pursuit of Sense Enjoyments  
(2) The Mind and the Senses  
(3) The Goal of Pratyahar  
(4) Dispassion and Perseverance  
(5) Mental Discipline and Sense-Control  
(6) The Practice of Pratyahar  
(7) The Five-Fold Nature of Pratyahar  
Chapter Fourteen 125-128
Raja Yoga in Brief  
(1) The Royal Path  
(2) The Stages of Raja Yoga  
(3) Dharana  
(4) Dhyan  
(5) Samadhi  
Group One (Figures 1-12) 131-136
Padmasan and Related Postures  
Group Two (Figures 13-21) 137-143
Siddhasan and Related Postures  
Group Three (Figures 22-29) 145-149
Swastikasan and Related Postures  
Group Four (Figures 30-38) 151-157
Samasan and Related Postures  
Group Five (Figures 39-48) 159-164
Upavishasan and Related Postures  
Group Six (Figures 49-58) 165-170
Vajrasan and Related Postures  
Group Seven (Figures 59-69) 171-176
Bhadrasan and Related Postures  
Group Eight (Figures 70-79) 177-182
Gorakshasan and Related Postures  
Group Nine (Figures 80-91) 183-188
Gomukhasan and Related Postures  
Group Ten (Figures 91-101) 189-195
Virasan and Related Postures  
Group Eleven (Figures 102-110) 197-201
Yogapattakasan and Related Postures  
Group Twelve (Figures 111-119) 203-207
Pavan Muktasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirteen (Figures 120-129) 209-212
Utkatukasan and Related Postures  
Group Fourteen (Figures 130-139) 213-217
Lalitasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifteen (Figures 140-147) 219-222
Abhiyogasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixteen (Figures 148-156) 223-227
Vakrasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventeen (Figures 157-164) 229-233
Matsyendrasan and Related Postures  
Group Eighteen (Figures 165-173) 235-240
Kandapidasan and Related Postures  
Group Nineteen (Figures 174-181) 241-245
Nabhipidasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty (Figures 182-189) 247-251
Padabhujasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-One (Figures 190-197) 253-257
Garbhasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Two (Figures 198-205) 259-263
Rujukasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Three (Figures 206-214) 265-270
Udbhujasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Four (Figures 215-222) 271-275
Kshemasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Five (Figures 223-231) 277-281
Samarpanasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Six (Figures 232-239) 283-287
Archasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Seven (Figures 240-248) 289-293
Bhunamanasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Eight (Figures 249-256) 295-298
Pashchimottanasan and Related Postures  
Group Twenty-Nine (Figures 257-264) 299-302
Ardha-Pashchimottanasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty (Figures 265-274) 303-308
Anukulasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-One (Figures 275-282) 309-312
Unnat-Padasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Two (Figures 283-292) 313-316
Tolangulasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Three (Figures 293-302) 317-320
Vayujayasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Four (Figures 303-311) 321-324
Anshapidasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Five (Figures 312-319) 325-329
Uttana-Kurmasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Six (Figures 320-331) 331-335
Supta-Padmasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Seven (Figures 332-343) 337-342
Shavasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Eight (Figures 344-354) 343-347
Ilttana-Padasan and Related Postures  
Group Thirty-Nine (Figures 355-366) 349-353
Anantashayanasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty (Figures 367-376) 355-359
Padma-Parshuasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-One (Figures 377-385) 361-364
Makarasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Two (Figures 386-394) 365-369
Sarpasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Three (Figures 395-402) 371-374
Patangasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Four (Figures 403-410) 375-379
Ardha-Dhanurasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Five (Figures 411-418) 381-385
Dhanurasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Six (Figures 419-428) 387-391
Shvanasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Seven (Figures 429-439) 393-398
Mayurasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Eight (Figures 440-449) 399-403
Grudhrasan and Related Postures  
Group Forty-Nine (Figures 450-458) 405-409
Bakasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty (Figures 459-467) 411-415
Lolasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-One (Figures 468-475) 417-421
Utkarshasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Two (Figures 476-486) 423-428
Janunatasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Three (Figures 487-494) 429-433
Trivakrasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Four (Figures 495-504) 435-440
Prarthanasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Five (Figures 505-515) 441-445
Prasritasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Six (Figures 516-523) 447-451
Konasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Seven (Figures 524-532) 453-457
Karnasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Eight (Figures 533-540) 459-464
Dhruvasan and Related Postures  
Group Fifty-Nine (Figures 541-549) 465-470
Padangushtasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty (Figures 550-557) 471-475
Maralasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-One (Figures 558-568) 477-482
Namanasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Two (Figures 569-576) 483-486
Lambashirasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Three (Figures 577-584) 487-490
Pravanasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Four (Figures 585-592) 491-495
Nabhadarshakasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Five (Figures 593-601) 497-501
Ardha-Chakrasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Six (Figures 602-609) 503-507
Halasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Seven (Figures 610-617) 509-512
Karnapidasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Eight (Figures 618-628) 513-517
Viparita-Karanasan and Related Postures  
Group Sixty-Nine (Figures 629-637) 519-523
Sopanasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventy (Figures 638-647) 525-530
Sarvangasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventy-One (Figures 648-659) 531-537
Shirshasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventy-Two (Figures 660-667) 539-543
Konashirshasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventy-Three (Figures 668-678) 545-550
Murdhasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventy-Four (Figures 679-690) 551-557
Lalatasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventy-Five (Figures 691-700) 559-563
Hastasan and Related Postures  
Group Seventy-Six (Figures 701-712) 565-571
Surya Namasakar: Salutation to the Sun  
Dictionary of Sanskrit Words 573-580
Index of Figures 581-588


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